Winning public opinion

This is something I wrote for the gun email list at work. Most of the people on the list live in California so I slanted it a little bit in that direction but I think it has application for a much broader audience.

I realize the situation is much different in California than in the states I spend most of my time (Washington and Idaho) but we are winning. We have been winning a bunch of court battles. We have been winning some political victories (carry in National Parks and in checked bags on Amtrak, carry in 49 states, fines for cities and elected officials in Florida who violate state preemption, etc. etc.). The anti-gun organizations are in financial trouble. And probably most importantly we are winning public opinion (see the most recent Gallup poll on guns).

As much progress as we have made elsewhere California and a few other states are still are a cancer that can spread if not treated. Don’t think that those of us in the free(er) states are unaware of the importance of these trouble spots or that we are neglecting the situation. And we are making progress in California. As you folks are probably even better aware than I SAF and CalGuns are making progress in the courts. I’ve spent a lot of time with Alan Gottlieb and Alan Gura and I am convinced they are more than competent and have plans that have a reasonable chance of success.

The blogosphere is also doing what it can to change things in California. Through the cooperation of Sebastian at Shall Not Be Questioned I was interviewed by a reporter for the Los Angeles Times yesterday. I was a bit apprehensive as the LA Times has been far from friendly to gun owners in the past. This report was fair and did not take advantage of some things I said which could have sounded poorly out of context. Although she didn’t mention it in the article her mother has even been to Front Sight!

I suspect California gun owners can make a difference by “coming out of the closet” now. I understand the risks but the rewards can be significant if done correctly.

One thing I would like to suggest is that gun owners/clubs reach out to traditional media. Boomershoot has had some remarkably good coverage (the KING5 Evening Magazine video on Boomershoot was even nominated for an Emmy). Boomershoot has some draw and some PR talent (not me) that most gun organizations can’t take advantage of but they can help gain public acceptance of gun owners without too much effort.

Find local news outlets that have a local events sections and get your IPDA/USPSA/Cowboy-Action/Steel-Challenge/Bowling-Pin/Bulleye/High-Power/whatever match listed. After the match write up a story (my PR person says, somewhat cynically, “Reporters are lazy. If you want their support do their work for them.”) about the match results and send it to the local news organizations. If you have something a little different you might even get them to send a reporter. Cowboy Action frequently qualifies as “different” enough. Action Pistol (IPDA/USPSA) matches provide an opportunity for this as well. I created stages for a USPSA match that addressed a visit by Fred Phelps to the area and made it into the local newspaper and the AP. That led to an interview for an article in the Seattle Times. A YouTube video of a Gabby Giffords themed concealed carry side match to a USPSA match generated nearly 8000 views and the rage of anti-gun groups and even got the attention of a Brady Campaign Board member who said, “These folks could have just sat back and shut up.”

If a news article has errors about guns (.357 caliber Glocks and 40mm handguns are my favorites) contact the reporter. Ask if they would like to attend a “media day”. Invite a number of media organizations and if you get a decent response set up a ½ day class (Keep it short! They won’t want to invest a whole day) to teach them the basics of gun types, gun vocabulary, gun myths, and gun safety. Print and bind some nice copies of the NSSF writers guide to give them (NSSF may have some for sale or distribution, you might check with them before printing your own). Include some range time with a .22 with options for larger calibers for those that are interested.

Carefully select your media guides. Good looking professionals of both sexes and various ethnic backgrounds will help dispel the stereotypes they may have of gun owners. Train your people! Prepare them for loaded questions. When media is expected at Boomershoot we have designated media contacts and since our people are spread all over the country do training via email discussions. We have a media guide FAQ (with our own inside humor) to help prepare our people. And except for those in the media who we know are gun friendly (I.E. Michael Bane of Shooting Gallery) we have a media guide with them at all times. We successfully handled a Newsweek reporter who, as near as we could determine, exclusively reported on terrorism, both international and domestic.

If you decide to head down this path let me know if I can help. My Boomershoot PR person currently has some health issues that sometimes prevent timely responses but if anyone thinks they could benefit from some help I will be glad to share what I have learned and pass on the tougher problems to an expert.

One of Many Things I’ll Never Quite Understand

Those who consider themselves iconic conservatives, or Republican leaders, often praise  President Lincoln.  Just reading the Emancipation Proclamation, I see it as a cheap political ploy of Clintonian style (or W. J. Clinton was of the Lincolnian tradition).  It didn’t free a single slave.  Furthermore, the North had slaves all through The War Between the States, and General Grant kept slaves for years after.  Depending on who you listen to, Lincoln was either a brutal tyrant or a brilliant champion of liberty.  I definitely do not see the latter.  This whole issue is clouded in B.S. so thick I can’t see through it.  Where do I turn for the truth?

Interesting Symposium

If you are in or near New York City on March 9th this would be something interesting to attend:

The Fordham Urban Law Journal will host its Volume XXXIX Symposium, titled “Gun Control and the Second Amendment: Developments and Controversies in the Wake of District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago,” on Friday, March 9 at Fordham Law School in New York City.
The event will be divided into the following panels:
· The Effect of the Supreme Court’s Gun Control Restrictions on Crime Rates
· The Scope of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms Post-Heller and McDonald
· Urban Exceptionalism and Modern Conceptions of the Militia

It includes some well-known names of people who are supportive of gun rights such as Don Kates, David Kopel, and Gary Kleck as well as some heavy hitters of the opposing team.

A bit off topic, but what is “Urban Exceptionalism”? I wasn’t able to find a quick answer to that.

Yoga and sex

I had no idea of the connection:

Yoga teachers and how-to books seldom mention that the discipline began as a sex cult — an omission that leaves many practitioners open to libidinal surprise.

But over the decades, many have discovered from personal experience that the practice can fan the sexual flames. Pelvic regions can feel more sensitive and orgasms more intense.

Science has begun to clarify the inner mechanisms. In Russia and India, scientists have measured sharp rises in testosterone — a main hormone of sexual arousal in both men and women. Czech scientists working with electroencephalographs have shown how poses can result in bursts of brainwaves indistinguishable from those of lovers. More recently, scientists at the University of British Columbia have documented how fast breathing — done in many yoga classes — can increase blood flow through the genitals. The effect was found to be strong enough to promote sexual arousal not only in healthy individuals but among those with diminished libidos.

In India, recent clinical studies have shown that men and women who take up yoga report wide improvements in their sex lives, including enhanced feelings of pleasure and satisfaction as well as emotional closeness with partners.

At Rutgers University, scientists are investigating how yoga and related practices can foster autoerotic bliss. It turns out that some individuals can think themselves into states of sexual ecstasy — a phenomenon known clinically as spontaneous orgasm and popularly as “thinking off.”

Interesting. Very, very interesting.

Posted in Sex

Someone else has just one question

John Harrigan at has his own version of Just One Question:

Whenever anyone tries to draw me into the gun-control controversy, I ask this: Given the nation’s estimated 200 million guns, how are we going to keep them out of the hands of scofflaw criminals who could then prey on a law-abiding, disarmed citizenry? This is only one question in a complex matter, but until someone with a grip on reality provides an answer, that’s it for me.

I find it interesting he has a similar rational to mine for creating and using the question.


Son-in-law John reports:

Hey Joe,

Thought you’d find it interesting. I’m taking a criminal justice course online at the moment and this weeks assignment is to write a paper on a terrorist or extremist event. The 7 events they use are:

  • Ramzi Yousef 1993 World Trade Center Bombing
  • Beirut, Lebanon vehicle bombing of the Marine barracks
  • Ruby Ridge
  • Oklahoma City Murray Federal building bombing
  • Theodore Kaczynski letter bombs
  • Waco Siege
  • Lockerbie PAN AM Flight 103 bombing

I briefly considered writing about how waco and ruby ridge were more examples of the ATF and FBI being the terrorist entities, but I don’t think that would fly very well, grade wise.

More details followed:

School Name: Grantham University

Course title: CJ101, Intro to Criminal Justice Instructor; Carolyn Dennis
Introduction to Criminal Justice presents a broad view of the criminal justice system. The course focuses on decision points and administrative practices in police and other criminal justice agencies, as well as basic criminal procedures. A realistic description of the American criminal justice system is presented and how it works – police, courts, and corrections. Topics include: what is criminal justice, the crime picture and the search for its causes, criminal law, policing history and structure, police management and legal aspects, adjudication including the courts and sentencing, corrections involving probation, parole, community corrections, prisons and jails, prison life, juvenile justice, drugs and crime, multinational criminal justice, and the future of criminal justice.

Week 7 assignment:
Case Study: Terrorists and Extremists

As described in the Module 7 Power Point presentation, criminologist Gwynn Nettler outlined all terrorism shares six characteristics:

  • No Rules-No moral limitations on the type or degree of violence that terrorists can use.
  • No Innocents-No respecter of persons; from soldiers to children; all are game.
  • Economy-Kill one, frighten 10,000
  • Publicity-Terrorists seek publicity, and publicity encourages terrorism.
  • Meaning-Terrorist acts give meaning and significance to the lives of terrorists.
  • No Clarity-Beyond the immediate aim of destructive acts, the long-term goals of terrorists are likely to be poorly conceived or impossible to implement. Terrorism that succeeds escalates.

The last seven slides of the Module 7 Power Point presentation depicted the following case studies of actual terrorist or extremist type events.  Select one of these case studies, do further research on it and complete a 2-page APA formatted essay discussing the application of these six characteristics in the event you select. In addition, the student will state if the chosen event was a Domestic or International event and why it is so.

By that definition it does seem the actions of the FBI at Ruby Ridge and Waco are properly classified as terrorist events. Good to know.

MSNBC and machine guns

There are not many news outlets more hostile to gun ownership than MSNBC.

Or at least that is the way it used to be. Here we have an article in MSNBC telling us how much fun you can have with machine guns in Las Vegas:

You may want to set your sights on Las Vegas’ newest attraction, Machine Guns Vegas (MGV), which opened its doors Monday. Part gun range, part ultra-lounge, MGV invites visitors to grab the automatic weapon of their choice — Uzis, AK-47s and more — and get in touch with their inner gangster or SEAL Team Six commando.

“You’d be amazed at the number of people who come to Vegas and want to shoot a machine gun,” said co-owner Genghis Cohen. “It’s an experience you can’t have in a lot of places in the world.”

Gun ranges, of course, are nothing new but MGV puts a decidedly Sin City spin on the concept, a reflection, in part, of Cohen’s background in the city’s nightlife industry. He originally came to Las Vegas from his native New Zealand to open Tabu, the über-hip lounge in the MGM Grand.

MGV takes a similarly stylish approach, albeit an alcohol-free one, complete with leather furniture, hardwood floors and a bevy of “Gun Girls” led by model and U.S. Air Force veteran Jeannie Duffy.

I’m a little concerned the “Gun Girls” have the potential to reduce acceptance by women. But while she is quite attractive at least the picture of Duffy doesn’t show an excessive amount of skin or promise jiggle with the machine gun recoil:


Quote of the day—Lyle@UltiMAK

I suppose that if we’re going to discuss who is compensating for what; the argument could be made that those who want more government in their lives, those who feel the need for the forceful interventions by government, are compensating for a lack of confidence in their ability to interact productively with other people in a free society. They don’t see themselves as capable of prospering when the rules are level and people’s rights are equally protected, so they have to advocate a system that gives them some special advantage over their betters. They’re compensating for weakness, meekness, timidity, self loathing, lack of imagination and other inabilities, so they’re looking for outlets for their jealousy and the hatred that comes from it.

February 27, 2012
Comment to Quote of the day—OC.
[This makes a lot more sense than some sort of penis envy the anti-gun people claim to exist in regards to firearms ownership.—Joe]

Random thought of the day

In conformance with the naming of fire, flood, and collision insurance the policy that pays out in the event of your death should be called “Death Insurance”.

“Life Insurance” is what you should call your carry handgun.

Update: I woke up at 3:30 the next morning realizing it probably should “Life Assurance”. Then I found the comment from Publius who suggested “life ensurance”. But I can’t find a definition for “ensurance”. [shrug]

Quote of the day—OC

I’m sorry but anyone who has to carry a gun in public has a small weiner. They just do. It’s not open for discussion.

March 4, 2010
Comment to Open Thread: Penis Substitutes At the Ready!
[It’s another Markley’s Law Monday!

Apparently OC also isn’t a fan of the First Amendment, the scientific method, or spelling checkers.—Joe]

Quote of the day–Rep. Daryl Metcalfe

Local elected officials are not above the law, and I think it’s arrogant and disrespectful of the citizens of this state when you have a local elected official who thinks they can pass any law they want willy-nilly.

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe
February 25, 2012
Gun bill could put Allentown on defensive–NRA wants owners of firearms to take cities with reporting laws to court.
[It’s no different than if a city were to pass a law prohibiting interracial or gay marriages. The state possess the sole power to regulate marriages and in this case as well as many others the state has the sole power to regulate firearms. City politicians that think they have the power regulate firearms have a lot in common with those that discriminate against other minorities and should be dealt with in the same manner and public scorn.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Bryan Miller

This is another win win for the NRA and it’s buddies in the gun lobby.

The Banksters buddies crush any opposition to them, so they can continue to fund the gun manufacturers, which in turn soaks our communities with guns, blood, and death.

Bryan Miller
Using the alias “BantheNRA“.
November 15, 2011
Comment to N.Y. judge rules against Occupy Wall Street protesters, upholds decision to dismantle Zuccotti Park encampment
[For many years Miller was the director of CeaseFire New Jersey until it went belly up.

His alias demonstrates his contempt for the First Amendment as well as the Second.

But most importantly the comment above demonstrates Miller apparently hasn’t been taking his anti-psychotic medications. He, and most anti-gun extremists, live in an alternate reality all their own.—Joe]

Quote of the day—John R. Lott Jr. & Gary Mauser

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Chiefs of Police have not yet provided a single example in which tracing was of more than peripheral importance in solving a case.
The problem isn’t just with the long-gun registry. The data provided above cover all guns, including handguns. There is no evidence that, since the handgun registry was started in 1934, it has been important in solving a single homicide.

John R. Lott Jr. & Gary Mauser
February 20, 2012
Death of a Long-Gun Registry
[H/T David Hardy.

Don’t ever forget the story of the Belgium Corporal. The only thing a gun registry is good for is confiscation.

When someone suggests gun registration is a good thing you know they are ignorant, stupid, and/or evil. You should determine which and deal with them appropriately.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Colorado Passport Agency

We generally don’t consider a crease to be damaged or mutilated such that it would prevent travel. Even if the RFID chip in the passport fails to operate, as long as the data and photo are legible, there should be no problem.

Colorado Passport Agency
February 23, 2012
Denver family stranded after passport denied because of crease
[H/T Say Uncle.

So… what this appears to mean is that you may intentionally (perhaps with plausible deniability) destroy the RFID chip and not worry about it invalidating your passport. This eliminates all the concerns about remote RFID scanning. It also means our government knows and acknowledges the RFID chips do not enhance security. Any security arguments made about their use in passports is invalid by their own admission.

One must now ask, “What is the real reason why they want RFID chips in the passports?”—Joe]

Random thought of the day

Since is it illegal for the government to keep records of someone who exercises their First Amendment rights it should also be illegal for a government to keep records of someone who exercises their Second Amendment rights.

Can you imagine the outcry if the government demanded you fill out the equivalent of a 4473 and undergo a NICS check before purchasing a printer for your computer, start a blog, or write a letter to the editor?

The Second Amendment deserves as much or more respect than the First Amendment and we need to get that point across.

Quote of the day—James Huffman-Scott

The existence of a position with the title “Political Officer” fills me with rage. In the military or a business the mere existence of such a position is evidence the government should be overthrown.

James Huffman-Scott
February 20, 2012
This was said while watching Voices of Authority in season three of Babylon 5.
[Yeah. It is just a TV show but I can understand that if it were to happen in real life. And I can see we aren’t that far away from it actually happening here. Having your friends and neighbors sending an email to the Whitehouse (search for “flag” on this page) about something you said in opposition to a government program or policy in violation of Federal law is a relatively small step from having a political officer looking over your shoulder all of the time.

It’s probably because of my advancing age and desensitization from the constant assaults to our freedom over the years that I don’t get nearly as angry about things like that anymore.

Instead of getting angry I spend my time building tools to enable the revolution should the offenses reach an intolerable level with no other options available.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Roberta X

Why apply prior restraint to a Constitutionally-protected right, then? Barring stupidity, deliberate ignorance or outright insanity, … unreasoning prejudice is the only motive.

Roberta X
February 21, 2012
Running The Numbers
[For a simple one-word answer “prejudice” is close enough and probably should be used in those contexts where sound bytes are important. But the real answer is probably much more complex. There is more than a little ignorance, a fair amount of stupidity and a lot of near insanity as well. Read about Peterson Syndrome for a more complete story on that mix.

But what Roberta left out was hatred, maliciousness, and evil. There are those that would disarm us because they know that if we have arms we will forcefully resist their final ultimate solution to what they believe to be the problems of the world.—Joe]